Microsoft’s browser, Internet Explorer, has the highest number of users compared to any other equivalent software. Though, having such a huge number of users isn't always such a good thing: if a vulnerability is discovered, it could potentially affect a vast amount of people. The German government isn’t happy with this, and as such, recommends users switch away from the browser.
The incident recently, regarding China and Google, led the German Federal Office for Security in Information Technology (BSI for short) to bring to light a critical vulnerability in all versions of Internet Explorer. The flaw will, put simply, "perform reconnaissance and gain complete control over the compromised system." The BSI noted that even running Internet Explorer in Protected Mode isn't enough to stop the flaw, with the entire statement (translated from German, thanks to Google) listed below:
"In Internet Explorer, there is a critical yet unknown vulnerability. The vulnerability allows attackers to inject malicious code via a specially crafted Web page into a Windows computer to infiltrate and set up. The last week became known hacker attack on Google and other U.S. companies has probably exploited the vulnerability.
Affected are the versions 6, 7 to 8 Internet Explorer on Windows systems XP, Vista and Windows 7 Microsoft has released a security advisory in which it discusses ways of minimizing risk and is already working on a patch to close the security gap. The BSI expects that this vulnerability will be used in a short time for attacks on the Internet.
Running the Internet Explorer in ‘protected mode’, as well as disabling scripting, is more difficult to attack, but it can not completely prevented. Therefore, the BSI recommends to switch to the existence of a patch from Microsoft to an alternative browser.
Once the vulnerability has been closed, the BSI will provide information on its warning and information about public-CERT. Keep informed about the civic-CERT and the BSI warns citizens and small and medium enterprises from viruses, worms and vulnerabilities in computer applications. The expert analysis of the BSI around the clock, the security situation in the Internet and send alerts when action is needed and safety information via e-mail."
Internet Explorer has been steadily losing market share lately, mainly due to the public perception that it is not as secure as other browsers, and now with Google joining the browser game, there is simply more software to choose from. Microsoft has announced that it is working on a fix, according to Mashable, which will hopefully be released very soon.